It is undeniable that the pandemic transformed the traditional methods of working. An unexpected development occurred when offices became empty and employees began to work remotely from different locations. In a remarkable shift, businesses began to realize that they had access to an exceptional pool of talent.
Although the trend towards remote working has been increasing over the past five years, few organizations have fully adopted it. There are three primary factors contributing to this reluctance.
Sites of actual workplaces:The real estate of companies’ actual office sites was expensive, and such companies naturally wanted their workers to make use of those places.
The Ability to Get Access to Top-Tier talent:The prevalence of remote employment and the use of a dispersed workforce has grown significantly since the pre-pandemic period, when geographical proximity was often a major consideration in the recruitment process.
Productivity:Before the outbreak of COVID-19, only 7% of US workers had access to flexible working or teleworking, which was not enough to convince multinational companies that it was a worthwhile investment.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly presented challenges, however, it has also been a catalyst for the shift to remote employment. This sudden change has enabled organizations to explore new ways of interacting, as well as re-evaluate their approaches to hiring talent.
I think it’s important to compare the two.
As a result, hiring priorities have shifted.
As a result of the pandemic, many new ways of engaging with employees have been developed to meet the ever-evolving needs of the workforce. These models are typically based on the objectives, requirements and interests of the organization. Furthermore, they have also transformed how businesses source and recruit new staff.
Structure for bolstering groups
Companies often use the team augmentation approach to expedite their roadmaps, which involves adding highly skilled and experienced team members. In other cases, the same capabilities and expertise needed for contract work may be sufficient for a company to make a permanent job offer.
Prior to the onset of the COVID pandemic, the staff augmentation model was a common practice. However, since then, businesses have found it easier to bring in and train teams that form an integral part of their in-house workforce. Previously, traditional staffing methods prioritized routine or low-stakes, operational tasks. In order to ensure quality results that meet the standards of their in-house teams, businesses are now turning to team augmentation models. This enables them to engage contract workers from across the globe who possess highly specialized skills.
A World Example
The outbreak of the pandemic and the associated increase in remote working have forced businesses to consider alternative approaches to employee engagement on an international level. Rather than relying solely on outsourcing in countries such as India, China, Mexico, Brazil, Ukraine or Argentina, organizations can now access talent from all over the world. Many companies have found success in embracing this global concept. According to Dana Lawson, VP of Engineering at GitHub, “having a local presence with excellent personnel is essential for developing a product that is truly global in nature”.
Indeed, many businesses that were initially skeptical of this global model have been pleasantly surprised by the quality, availability and efficiency of the worldwide labor pools they now have access to.
Strategy based on expected results
Organizations that focus on results rather than processes are looking for employees who can have a tangible effect on their desired outcomes; this approach is particularly prevalent among engineers and data scientists.
Adopting an outcome-based approach to recruitment means seeking highly competent professionals with specific skill sets on a global scale. This approach combines the benefits of the team augmentation and global models, as it not only seeks to add to an existing team, but it also allows organizations to explore the global talent pool for suitable candidates.
Outcome-based contracts can be beneficial for both clients and talented individuals. Clients benefit from a straightforward agreement that is tailored to specific results, while talented individuals can be part of groundbreaking projects with rewarding outcomes. This approach has already been adopted by companies in the artificial intelligence and machine learning industries, and is likely to quickly become popular in other areas such as mobile applications, game designs, UX/UI, and more.
The conventional wisdom regarding remote workers has been completely overturned.
There has been a noteworthy change in employers’ views on remote work, in addition to a movement in the way firms think about engagement models.
Let’s take a look at how prior worries regarding a scattered workforce were spun on their head as a consequence of the epidemic.
Geographical restrictions have historically hindered the ability to access the best talent. However, if criteria such as location are no longer essential, companies may now explore a wider range of qualified prospects; as long as they have the necessary capabilities to complete the task, they can be considered. This provides businesses with a greater opportunity to find the right employees, as they can be more focused on finding individuals who are a suitable fit for the organization and possess the required skills.
Corporations were initially concerned about productivity when transitioning their workforce to full remote working during the pandemic, however, this worry has not been realized. In fact, many organizations have not observed any changes in productivity, and some have even seen an improvement.
Over half of CEOs in PwC’s US Remote Work Survey from January 2022 feel that staff productivity is higher than it was before the epidemic.
At Works, we have experienced an increase in output. Our engineers have expressed they would prefer to choose their optimal working hours to focus on deep work and deliver consistent results, a feature which has been welcomed by our Head of Talent Experience, Rosa Langhammer.
In the end, the COVID era has allowed for greater leeway in the global engagement and recruiting of professionals.
The benefits of remote work and a dispersed workforce have been recognized by firms of all kinds, from startups to multinational conglomerates.
Our recent survey of Enterprise organizations using the Remote Maturity Model revealed two key advantages of a globally distributed workforce: access to high-caliber talent and the incorporation of international and multicultural perspectives into product development by engineers based outside the United States. These advantages enabled these organizations to more easily expand their development capabilities and move closer to a continuous development cycle.
When enquired about the primary benefits of a globally distributed workforce, companies with annual revenues between $501 million and $1 billion noted the capability to expand quickly and expedite recruitment, the procurement of local market knowledge, and the attainment of a higher return on investment with their team.
The increasing prevalence of remote working and the wide reach of the talent pool has necessitated a reassessment of traditional approaches to employee engagement, talent acquisition, and more. This suggests that future working practices will involve greater global collaboration and that talent will be judged based on skills, accessibility and cultural compatibility, rather than just location. As a result, more companies will be adopting these flexible, international strategies to recruit and retain the best personnel.